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• Perverse mankind! whose wills, created free, Charge all their woes on absolute decree; All to the dooming gods their guilt translate, And follies are miscall’d the crimes of Fate. When to his lust Egysthus gave the rein, Did Fate, or we, the adulterous act constrain ? Did Fate, or we, when great Atrides died, Urge the bold traitor to the regicide? Hermes I sent, while yet his soul remain'd Sincere from royal blood, and faith profaned, To warn the wretch, that young Orestes, grown To manly years, should reassert the throne. Yet impotent of mind, and uncontrol'd, He plunged into the gulf which Heaven foretold.'

Here paused the god; and pensive thus replies Minerva, graceful with her azure eyes • O thou! from whom the whole creation springs, The source of power on earth derived to kings! His death was equal to the direful deed; So may the man of blood be doom'd to bleed ! But grief and rage

alternate wound

my

breast For brave Ulysses, still by Fate oppress’d. Amidst an isle, around whose rocky shore The forests murmur, and the surges roar, The blameless hero from his wish’d-for home A goddess guards in her enchanted dome. (Atlas her sire, to whose far-piercing eye The wonders of the deep expanded lie; The' eternal columns which on earth he rears End in the starry vault, and prop the spheres.) By his fair daughter is the chief confined, Who sooths to dear delight his anxious mind : Successless all her soft caresses prove, To banish from his breast his country's love;

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To see the smoke from his loved palace rise,
While the dear isle in distant prospect lies,
With what contentment could he close his eyes!
And will Omnipotence neglect to save
The suffering virtue of the wise and brave?
Must he, whose altars on the Phrygian shore
With frequent rites, and

pure,

avow'd thy power, Be doom'd the worst of human ills to prove, Unbless'd, abandon’d to the wrath of Jove? Daughter'! what words have pass'd thy lips

unweigh'd! (Replied the thunderer to the martial maid) Deem not unjustly by my doom oppress'd Of human race the wisest and the best. Neptune, by prayer repentant rarely won, Aficts the chief, to’avenge his giant son, Whose visual orb Ulysses robb'd of light; Great Polypheme, of more than mortal might! Him young

Thoösa bore (the bright increase Of Phorcys, dreaded in the sounds and seas), Whom Neptune eyed with bloom of beauty bless'd, And in his cave the yielding nymph compress'd. For this, the god constrains the Greek to roam, A hopeless exile from his native home, From death alone exempt—but cease to mourn; Let all combine to’ achieve his wish'd return; Neptune, atoned, his wrath shall now refrain, Or thwart the synod of the gods in vain.'

• Father and king adored! (Minerva cried) Since all who in the’ Olympian bower reside Now make the wandering Greek their public care, Let Hermes to the’ Atlantic isle' repair ;

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i Ogygia.

Bid him, arrived in bright Calypso's court,
The sanction of the’ assembled powers report:
That wise Ulysses to his native land
Must speed, obedient to their high command.
Meantime Telemachus the blooming heir
Of seagirt Ithaca, demands my care:
"Tis mine, to form his green unpractised years,
In sage debates; surrounded with his peers,
To save the state; and timely to restrain
The bold intrusion of the suitor train;
Who crowd his palace, and with lawless power
His herds and flocks in feastful rites devour.
To distant Sparta, and the spacious waste
Of sandy Pyle, the royal youth shall haste.
There, warm with filial love, the cause inquire
That from his realm retards his godlike sire :
Delivering early to the voice of fame
The promise of a great, immortal name.'

She said : the sandals of celestial mould,
Fledged with ambrosial plumes, and rich with gold,
Surround her feet: with these sublime she sails
The' aerial space, and mounts the winged gales:
O'er earth and ocean wide prepared to soar,
Her dreaded arm a beamy javelin bore,
Ponderous and vast; which, when her fury burns,
Proud tyrants humbles, and whole hosts o’erturns.
From high Olympus prone her flight she bends,
And in the realm of Ithaca descends.
Her lineaments divine, the great disguise
Of Mentes' form conceal'd from human eyes
(Mentes, the monarch of the Taphian land):
A glittering spear waved awful in her hand.
There in the portal placed the heaven-born maid
Enormous riot and misrule survey'd.

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On hides of beeves, before the palace gate,
(Sad spoils of luxury) the suitors sat.
With rival art, and ardour in their mien,
At chess they vie, to captivate the queen;
Divining of their loves. Attending nigh,
A menial train the flowing bowl supply:
Others, apart, the spacious hall prepare,
And form the costly feast with busy care.
There young Telemachus, his bloomy face
Glowing celestial sweet, with godlike grace
Amid the circle shines : but hope and fear
(Painful vicissitude!) his bosom tear.
Now imaged in his mind, he sees restored,
In peace and joy, the people's rightful lord;
The proud oppressors fly the vengeful sword.
While his fond soul these fancied triumphs swellid,
The stranger guest the royal youth beheld:
Grieved that a visitant so long should wait
Unmark’d, unhonour'd, at a monarch’s gate;
Instant he flew with hospitable haste,
And the new friend with courteous air embraced.

Stranger! whoe'er thou art, securely rest, Affianced in my faith, a friendly guest: Approach the dome, the social banquet share, And then the purpose of thy soul declare.'

Thus affable and mild, the prince precedes, And to the dome the unknown celestial leads. The spear receiving from her hand, he placed Against a column, fair with sculpture graced; Where seemly ranged in peaceful order stood Ulysses' arms, now long disused to blood. He led the goddess to the sovereign seat, Her feet supported with a stool of state (A purple carpet spread the pavement wide); Then drew his seat, familiar, to her side ;

Far from the suitor train, a brutal crowd,
With insolence, and wine, elate and loud ;
Where the free guest, unnoted, might relate,
If haply conscious, of his father's fate.
The golden ewer a maid obsequious brings,
Replenish'd from the cool translucent springs;
With copious water the bright vase supplies
A silver laver, of capacious size:
They wash. The tables in fair order spread,
They heap the glittering canisters with bread :
Viands of various kinds allure the taste,
Of choicest sort and savour, rich repast!
Delicious wines the attending herald brought;
The gold gave lustre to the purple draught.
Lured with the vapour of the fragrant feast,
In rush'd the suitors with voracious haste:
Marshal'd in order due, to each a sewer
Presents, to bathe his hands, a radiant ewer.
Luxurious then they feast. Observant round,
Gay stripling youths the brimming goblets crown'd.
The rage of hunger quell'd, they all advance,
And form to measured airs the mazy dance.
To Phemius was consign’d the chorded lyre,
Whose hand reluctant touch'd the warbling wire:
Phemius, whose voice divine could sweetest sing
High strains, responsive to the vocal string.

Meanwhile, in whispers to his heavenly guest, His indignation thus the prince express’d:

Indulge my rising grief, whilst these, my friend, With song and dance the

pompous

revel end. Light is the dance, and doubly sweet the lays, When, for the dear delight, another pays. His treasured stores these cormorants consume, Whose bones, defrauded of a regal tomb

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